Eating to Live · Kids · Mom Life · Self-Care · Uncategorized

Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby

Pregnant Beach Photo

Product Review:

I decided to try something new as a way of sharing some of the things that we use at our house as a part of our wellness lifestyle.

However, in full disclaimer, I also signed up for the Amazon affiliate program really quick before I hit “publish” for this review in hope of earning a few cents if you do end up deciding to try this product(s). I was going to share it with you anyway and it seemed logical to see if I could earn a small commission since I refer to Amazon ALL THE TIME. Mostly because with three small children it is the only place that I have time to shop, they deliver quickly, and they have basically everything that I need.

I did pay full price for these products and my opinions are entirely my own.

Okay, now that we have cleared up that I am not trying to “sell” you anything and am just sharing the products that I have been using, let’s get started.

IMG_8332

Where are all my pregnant and new mama friends at? When I was pregnant I did a TON of research on the difference between Folate and Folic Acid which is an important ingredient in growing healthy babies.

When I was pregnant I did a TON of research on the difference between Folate and Folic Acid which is an important ingredient in growing healthy babies.

It turns out that Folic Acid is the synthetic form of Folate and is mostly used because it has a longer shelf life. Which is great when you are buying prenatal vitamins that last for five years, you don’t want the good stuff going bad. (insert eye roll here)

However, did you know that there are actually plant based prenatal vitamins that have Folate in them?

I discovered New Chapter Vitamins and have really liked them. They have great ingredients and are Fermented with Probiotics + Wholefoods + Folate + Iron + Vitamin D3 + B Vitamins + Organic Non-GMO Ingredients.

These things are important to me. I try to feed my family in a manner similar to this so it only made sense to me that if I were to add a supplement it should also follow these criteria.

I personally took them at night before bed since I spent the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy getting sick every time that I stood up. They didn’t make my nausea any worse but I was so nauseous already I am not sure that they made it any better either. If you find that these (or any prenatal) are making your nausea worse I would recommend taking them before bed, that has always been helpful for me.

I used these prenatal vitamins in my first trimester with my last pregnancy (I used my shake as my “vitamins” in my second and third trimester and just added extra //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=doryheadlee-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00H7JYKHQ&asins=B00H7JYKHQ&linkId=a890f4cdaac87df83f59fa4115d48346&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=a32a85&bg_color=ffffff” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Folate). I personally took them at night before bed since I spent the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy getting sick every time that I stood up. They didn’t make my nausea any worse but I so nauseous already I am not sure that they made it any better either.

Then when I went to order more of them to help with my postpartum recovery I discovered that they also have an AMAZING //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=doryheadlee-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00T8SBDQU&asins=B00T8SBDQU&linkId=4a254ec571075883619b9a8ae244bd25&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=a32a85&bg_color=ffffff” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Postnatal Vitamin that I ended up taking in my “fourth trimester” to get extra immune, lactation, and hormone support. I had pretty bad postpartum depression with my second child and giving my body increased hormone support was something that was very important to me. Again, these were made with the same awesome whole food ingredients.

 

There are also many foods that have high doses of Folate in them as well and based on a quick Google search the top ten are pretty unanimous.

  1. Chickpeas/Garbonzo Beans
  2. Liver (Not my thing, but it could be yours)
  3. Pinto Beans
  4. Lentils
  5. Spinach
  6. Asparagus
  7. Avocada
  8. Beets
  9. Black Eyed Peas
  10. Broccoli

I eat either hummus or avocado on basically everything and I typically eat 2-3 cups of spinach a day so this was good news for me.

This concludes my first product review, I would love to hear what you think! Was this helpful for you? Please comment and let me know.

 

 

Self-Care · Uncategorized

How To Stay Alive

It is late and I should probably be sleeping because the baby is sleeping and isn’t that what they say? “Sleep when the baby is sleeping.” I will go to bed soon but I have something that has been on my mind all afternoon that I really wanted to get out.

 

Everyone struggles. Everyone has things that pop up in their life that at times feel like it is trying to suck the life out of you, to trip you up, to steal your joy. These things are a lot like weeds and everyone gets them. The problem though isn’t so much that the weeds exist, the problem is when they root themselves in and make themselves at home right in the middle of your pretty, blossoming life.

 

Why the weeds analogy?  I spent the morning at our community garden with the boys and my job today was to re-pot Mums. I had time to be alone with my thoughts while the boys chased lizards and dug in the dirt. I can honestly say that I am not much of a gardener. I have a watering problem, as in I only remember to do it about twice a month. Needless to say, I occasionally get a small harvest but mostly I get a bunch of dead plants surrounded by pretty mulch.

 

I share that with you to give you an idea of how inexperienced I am with re-potting plants. The thing that was interesting to me was that I wasn’t putting the plants in a larger container. They didn’t outgrow the container that they were already in, in fact, they took up a relatively small portion of the pot. My job in re-potting them was to unbind the roots, pull out the weeds, trim the dead parts, remove the buds, and fill the container with fresh dirt.

 

There were a LOT of roots in the container and breaking them up often required clipping a section with scissors to even get a starting point because they were so tightly bound together. Interestingly, most of the roots did not actually belong to the Mums. They belonged to the weeds that found their way into the pot and although on the surface the weeds looked minimal, under the surface and out of sight, they had completely taken over.

 

Take away #1: we have this in our lives, things that sprout up and although they don’t seem excessive on the surface inside they are taking over. They are stealing our food supply, they are getting us all tangled up, and they are taking over our space.

THE roots (1)

 

As I pulled the weeds out of the pot small parts of the Mum often came out with it even if I worked as carefully as possible. There some of the weeds were so deeply tangled that I had to separate the entire plant just to get them out. The weeds did not come out easily and many of them had an even more intricate root system than the Mums that were supposed to be in the pot.

 

Take away #2: it is impossible to completely remove weed from our lives without doing at least some minor damage to both the plant on the surface and the root system underneath. Even though removing the weeds it the best thing for us, it will not go unnoticed. There will likely be damage done through the process and there will be a void left in its absence.

THE weeds

 

Getting rid of the ugly dead pieces was the easy part of this process but they also served as a good reminder.

 

Take away #3: Sometimes we hold onto the ugly dead things that are no longer bringing beauty into our lives or contributing in any way. They are no longer serve a purpose and they exist and create ugliness in our lives simply because we haven’t gotten around to trimming them off and throwing them away.

 

All of the work to create space for the roots, remove the weeds, and trim the dead pieces meant that the plant was left looking pretty ratty. It was stubbly, scraggly, and pretty pathetic. When it looked like there was much left to it, I did something that almost pained me. I took its flowers too. I trimmed off the blooms and buds and tossed them in with the weeds. The reason for doing this is so that the plant can focus its energy on rebuilding a full and beautiful bush instead of using its energy to create flowers that it cannot support or sustain.

 

Take away # 4: The rebuilding stage is not pretty. Not only is it not pretty to start with, more of the beauty may need to be removed in order to get to a place where you can build a solid foundation to support what you are going to grow into.

THE roots

Last but not least, the dirt. When you are not connected to a greater source of power, in the plant’s case, the earth, your resources eventually run out. Dirt itself is not enough to sustain the plants, it is the nutrients that are in the dirt. When the plant lives in a pot its whole life it eventually needs a new supply source, aka, new dirt so that it can continue to grow and thrive.

 

Take away # 5: Thinning the roots, pulling the weeds, trimming the dead pieces, and aligning energy are not going to do you any good if you are not refreshing your source for energy, nutrition, and knowledge. You need a way to power your growth. Without it, you will just be a dead plant in a pretty new pot that died because it starved to death.

Kids · Mom Life · Self-Care · Uncategorized

Why Mommy’s Need Nap Time Too

why mommy's need nap tim too

Have you ever had a conversation that changes you? Here is one of mine.

> Me (as a tired mom of a two-year-old and a baby, struggling with postpartum depression, and experiencing a level of exhaustion I had no idea was possible): “I can’t wait until naptime, naptime is my favorite time of the day.”

> Her: “If nap time if your favorite time of the day I guess it means that you probably shouldn’t have any more kids because you won’t enjoy them.”

> Me: (cue mom guilt) “but I do enjoy my kids!”

In that moment, I felt like a failure as a mom. I will NEVER forget that conversation because it haunted me for YEARS. I felt like it was wrong to need a break from my kids and I felt guilt that I needed to take it. As though somehow my need to take care of myself and exist outside of the presence of my children in a way made me less than. I beat myself up every night that I tucked my kids into bed a few minutes early and breathed a sigh of relief that we made it through another day and now could enjoy a glass of wine on the couch by myself. It is not like these nights are every night, but they happen and I think that when they do it is genuinely in the best interest of everyone involved.

 

I pause here to say this, I know that there are mothers out there who will read this and think, “I can’t imagine ever needing to be away from my children.” Just stop right there and give a word of gratitude that you are a rare individual and although we are amazed by you we don’t actually need you casting any guilt ridden looks our way. Just raise a glass with us and celebrate that we mommy’d hard another day. We won’t even hold it against you if you join the toast with a glass of water, in case you are also a rare saint who does this whole mommying thing without wine.

 

Alright, continuing on… have you been there? That place where your sanity is hanging on by a fragile thread and a toddler meltdown over a bruise on his banana or the fact that her granola bar broke rendering it inedible are things that will likely leave you in a puddle of tears on the kitchen floor. Where you cancel playdates because the day has been such a train wreck that the mere thought of having to negotiate your kids into pants and shoes makes your head throb and blood pressure spike. If you have, please know that you are not alone. In fact, I would say that most of us have these days so please let me speak some encouragement to you.

 

  1. The little years are hard. You are up frequently at night, you become something of a sleep deprived zombie, and then you spend your entire day (and the next night) catering to the constant demanding needs of a tiny human who needs you to basically do everything for them, watch them constantly, and answer their 8,903,994. You love them to pieces, you pray long and hard for them, and when they snuggle up in your lap and smile up at you, you melt every time. You know that the long days are worth it so be okay with the hard days as they happen. Having them is normal, just remember to come up for air when you are having a lot of them in a row. Being needed 24/7 is taxing on your mind and your body which is why taking care of yourself is so important.
  2. The little years don’t last. These years fly by all to quickly and before you know it you will be back to sleeping through the night. Your kids will soon be able to feed themselves, wipe their own bottoms, and play unsupervised without painting the entire floor with your lipstick. You will be able to read them books with story lines, play games that have a winner and a loser, and leave the house without having to personally buckle them all into five point harnesses. Yes, the new stages will have new challenged but they will test you in a different way. Try to find things each day to cherish because even though the days can be long the years pass so quickly. With each stage they grow more independent and you will not get this much undivided influence in their lives ever again.
  3. The little years are preparing you. As you navigate through these first years of parenthood know that all of the emotions that you are experiencing right now are preparing you for the coming years. Embrace them and learn from them. Soon you are going to be teaching your kids how to navigate their emotions and you can’t just tell them to go hide in the laundry room with chocolate and a bottle glass of wine and hope that no one finds them.

 

It is naptime as I write this and it is easily still my favorite time of day. It is quiet and this short break is just long enough for me to reheat and finish my coffee, eat a meal without having to share it and accomplish one or two small tasks to completion. It gives me a reprieve that allows me to be a better mom when it is over.

 

(Also, I am fully aware that “mommy’d” and “mommying” are not technically words. The glaring red lines from spell check made that annoyingly clear but since they express my point I am using them.)

Anxiety · Self-Care · Uncategorized

The Road to Anxiety is Paved with the Opinions of Others

The road to anxiety is paved with the opinions of others

 

The Road to Anxiety is Paved with the Opinions of Others

4 tips on letting go and trusting yourself

Have you ever made a decision that you were excited about only to share it with someone close to you and have them throw gloom and doom all over it? Everyone has an opinion about what you are doing and most of the time you can write it off with an eye roll. Except for when you can’t. Except for when that opinion struck a little too close to your already existing insecurities about the issue and now the “second guessing yourself” thoughts are sneaking in and they are bringing their friends.

 

Have you ever had to name a baby? My goodness, do people have opinions about that and they are ready and waiting to share them with you whether you want to hear them or not. There is so much to consider: what will her nicknames be? What do her initials spell? Can her name hold up in a courtroom if she so choses? Will it be mispronounced their entire life? Does it bring of any negative memories from your own childhood?

 

I have done this naming a kid thing three times now and I have vetoed many a name because of the feedback of others. I actually changed the name that we had chosen for my firstborn because of this. When it was time for my second child I knew better and didn’t share his name until I was 100% sure I was married to it. At which point didn’t care what kind of feedback we got on it and trust me, we got plenty. Then came my daughter, her name I never blinked at because I decided on it long before her existence. When all the opinions about it came in I was un-phased by them because I did not have any insecurities about it. Her name is the most unusual out of all of them and nary a once did I second guess myself when it came time to make it official. To give you a reference on how far I have come on this, I ditched “Mason” with baby #1 but happily embraced “Aleigha” (pronounced a-lee-a) only four short years later.

 

Have you been there? That place where you are excited about a new opportunity, job, house, or pair of shoes only to have someone come along and take the wind out of your sails? It happens to all of us. The opinions of others are an everyday occurrence and are completely unavoidable if you interact on a human level (I am pretty sure dogs don’t judge). It can be frustrating, discouraging, and downright disappointing.

 

So how do we combat it?

 

First, consider the source of the opinion. Is it coming from someone that you trust, admire, or consider to be wise counsel? If yes, then talk it out with them and gain some perspective as to why they feel that way about it. Then evaluate whether there is merit to what they are saying and if they brought up any good points that you should be considering. If no, then let it go. Just because the opinion exists doesn’t mean that you have to take it to heart.

 

Second, get really comfortable with your “why.” Once you have a good “why” that you are working toward then it becomes easier to embrace decisions that lead toward your “why”, even if they are unpopular or unsupported. If you don’t have a really solid intrinsic motivator you will find that you get emotionally derailed often and when that happens you will find all of the “what ifs” lining up at your doorstep.

 

Third, recognize your insecurities and name them. The reason that anxiety can get a foothold is because you feel insecure in something that is tied to the choice that you just made and now you are wondering if maybe you should just scrap the whole thing. You wanted to start a business but you feel like you are not the best communicator, which leaves you feeling unqualified, which then limits your confidence.  When that happens it makes your friends passing comment about you wasting your time on a scam seem so much bigger than it really is. When you are second guessing yourself and feel the anxiety creeping in, look for the root of it.  It probably is not as closely tied to that opinion as it feels.

 

Fourth, have faith in yourself that you are a smart, confident, and capable individual that is able to boldly make choices that are in the best interest of yourself, your family, and others. Be ready for the opinions to come, thanks those that give them to you, then bless and release them. You don’t have to be haunted by the opinions of others. Choosing to hold on to them will divide your focus between what you are trying to manifest in your life and the numerous other things that you could be giving your attention to. Just because your Aunt Sarah tried to start a business and failed does not mean that you are going to. Just because your best friend decided to homeschool her kids doesn’t mean that it the best fit for your family. Just because your grandmother would never serve quinoa stuffing at Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that you can’t. It is okay to refuse to carry the baggage that other people try to put on you, because then you can be free to really enjoy your journey.

 

Eating to Live

The Food Journey

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The Food: The Ultimate Reset Part II

I have really solid disciple when it comes to NOT doing something. I have the will power to quit probably anything expect breathing if I had a strong enough “why” to do so.

I quit eating meat when I was twelve. I quit drinking coffee creamer three years ago. I quit eating dairy and gluten six months ago. I am a really good quitter. I struggle with the disciple to consistently do new things though. It often takes me 45 days to complete a 30-day workout program, I am still in the same 30-day devotional that I started in February, and I only need to order a two-month supply of vitamins twice a year.

That being said, a program based on elimination was right up my ally. The hardest part for me was remembering to take the accompanying supplements. The Ultimate Reset excludes processed foods, refined sugars, alcohol, caffeine, and weans you off of meat, dairy and gluten. The third week is completely vegan with minimal grains.

I have been a vegetarian for eighteen years which make me no stranger to vegetables so imagine my surprise when there was an entire list of foods included in the meal plan that I had never prepared or eaten before. When I go all in, I go all in so I was excited to try all of them. I was delighted with some of the flavor combinations that were used in foods that I regularly eat but that took them to a completely different level. Cilantro and mint in the same dish? Yes, please!

 

The hardest thing for me was to commit to prepping food every few days as there were a lot of veggies that needed to be cut up and they only last for so long once they are cut. The second hardest thing was to commit the time to eat. There is no drinking within 30 minutes of meal time as chewing helps release digestive enzymes and you are supposed to chew your food to an almost liquid state. I typically chew my food just enough that I can swallow it without choking so this was struggle me because it made meal time much lengthier than the standard 10-15 minutes I generally allot.

 

I discovered that when your tasted buds are not all cluttered up food naturally has an extraordinary flavor. The recipes were simple and very flavorful which made me enjoy eating them.

 

I finished almost a month ago and have found that with the exception of peanut butter I have stuck to the Ultimate Reset protocol about 90% of the time. I am enjoying my oatmeal and fruit, my Shakeology with added chia seeds, and my simple salads. I have also found that I am intentionally eating many more raw foods on a regular basis.